Creating a Portico

Reference Number: KB-00168
Last Modified: July 21, 2021

The information in this article applies to:

Home Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural or HomeDesigner Suite


A portico is typically a roofed porch leading to the entrance of a building, or extended as a colonnade, supported by columns. How can I create this in Home Designer? 

Camera view of house with portico from front door to garage


To create an area covered by a roof where actual walls don't exist, you can use Invisible Walls.

Creating the portico room area

  1. Open the plan in which you want to create the portico.

  2. From the menu, select Build> Railing and Deck> Straight Railing , then click and drag to create the space that will be enclosed by your roof.

  3. Using the Select Objects tool, select each of the railings and click the Open Object edit button.

  4. On the General panel of the Railing Specification dialog that displays, check the Invisible box, then click OK.

    Railing Specification with Invisible selected

  5. Notice that the three railings that make up the portico have been set to be invisible and now display as dashed lines as shown in the image below.

    Floor plan view showing porch room created with invisible walls

  6. Using the Select Objects tool, select the newly created room, and click on the Open Object edit button.

  7. In the Room Specification dialog:

    • Set your Room Type for the area as a Deck, Porch, or Slab

    • On the Structure panel, set your Floor and Finished Ceiling values, and check Roof Over this Room if it's not already selected.

    • Click OK to apply these changes and close the dialog.

Now that we have our basic room defined, we are ready to have the automatic roof generator create a gable over the front door entry area.

Creating a gable over the front door

  1. From the menu, select Build> Wall> Break Wall , then click to place a break on the side of the invisible wall where you want the gable to be.

  2. Using the Select Objects tool, click on the wall segment, then select the Change to Gable Wall edit tool

    Floor plan view with wall section selected showing Change to Gable Wall button on Edit Toolbar

  3. If you do not have Auto Rebuild Roofs enabled, select Build> Roof> Build Roof and click OK to rebuild the roof based on these changes.

    In Home Designer Pro, check the Build Roof Planes box before clicking OK.

Now that we have our roof set up correctly, we're ready to place columns from the Library Browser.

Placing and positioning columns from the Library Browser

  1. From the menu, select View> Library Browser .

  2. Navigate to Architectural> Millwork> Columns, and select an appropriate column to place in your design.

    For the purposes of our example, we will use the "Doric Faceted Column."

  3. Once selected, click in your plan to place the column, then create a Full Camera view of the column so that you can resize and position it.

  4. You can then Copy and Paste additional columns and position them along your portico area.

    Full Camera view showing front of house with portico and columns with one column selected and resized